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Growth Strategy: Recruiting for Sales or Marketing? Who comes first?

Is your business hitting, even skipping over, its milestones? Congratulations! You’re clearly doing something right.

If your company is scaling, you’ll need a solid growth strategy to avoid hitting a plateau. You may have an excellent product, a strong brand and an incredible team powering your venture, but eventually, things may get a little stagnant. Sometimes, you may not even notice how the things that once generated revenue for you are now becoming an expense.

It’s natural for growing companies to have some reservations about hiring. No one wants to upset the apple cart, right?
We have a great culture. Will another person fit well with the team, or will the dynamics change?

The cost of adding people to your payroll is also a common concern.
Will we get a good return on investment, and which type of hire (sales or marketing) will have the most impact?

It may seem like a big decision, but to climb the next step on the growth ladder, recruiting sales and marketing specialists will be necessary. Here’s how you should go about it.

Where are you now, and where do you want to be?

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably grown your company from the ground up. You’ve had to be a master of all trades to ensure that your business runs exactly as you’ve envisioned. There comes a time, of course, when it’s necessary to let go of the reins a little and delegate some of those tasks to other people.

As you scale, you’ll have more resources to hire individuals that have the training and expertise your business needs. Bringing these folks on board will free up your time to focus on other business-critical activities and also accelerate growth. But which important roles should you focus on hiring first?

Assess your current situation

The key is first to understand where you’re at right now. Is your need for more marketing and sales hires driven by a genuine growth spurt, or are you reacting to a drop off in customer engagement and conversion? Parts of your business may be flourishing while others are slowing down; that’s why it’s essential to identify what work needs to be done to bring balance and improvement to those areas.

Consider, also, your current company structures. Do you already have several salespeople? Will a new hire with a similar background and skillset to your existing team help to propel your business forward? Or do you need someone with specific expertise to fill a gap?

Perhaps you don’t have a marketing team at all, and this will be the first time you’re developing that side of your business. If you think that bringing in one marketing specialist will make an impact on your growth strategy, you may be surprised to learn that this isn’t necessarily the case. If your business hasn’t had a dedicated in-house resource to fulfil the tasks encompassed by the marketing role before, you may be expecting too much from a single individual. He or she simply won’t have the time or ability to fulfil all the marketing objectives your business should have at this point.

What’s your vision for the future?

Once you put into perspective where your business is now, what areas you lack expertise in and where there’s room for considerable improvement, it’s time to look at your long term goals. Where do you see your business in one, two, even five years?

If you only take incremental steps towards growing your team, will you be able to reach those significant revenue and growth targets you’ve set for yourself? If your market is particularly competitive and you’re susceptible to setbacks if you don’t embrace new technologies or trends, your recruiting of marketing and sales specialists has to be highly strategic. Your team has to be able to accommodate the growing demand for your products and services. If you expect big things for your company, you’ll need a team that is able to effectively support your buyer’s journey.

Why your marketing team needs to grow

90% of the folks who are searching for the types of products or services you deliver haven’t made up their mind about the brand they’d like to go with. This means marketing has a crucial role to play in creating the kind of content that will sway those buyers in your favour. 84% of people will expect you to create content, so marketing is, in fact, kind of a BIG deal.

On average, small businesses are now spending $9000 to $10000 on Google Ads per month. That’s a significant amount, highlighting the importance that SMBs now place on digital marketing. For every $1.60 you spend on Google Ads, you could be earning $3 back. Your competitors are likely to already be in the game, so you don’t want to lag behind. Having a great marketing team that knows how to effectively develop your PPC strategy is crucial.

Your marketing experts will know how to collect and study behavioural data to focus your marketing campaigns and target your adverts to the audiences that are most likely to buy from you. For a growing company, these are must-have activities that need to be part of your growth strategy.

Your marketing team has a key role in helping you generate leads and create the content necessary to re-engage existing customers, prevent churn, and retain buyers who are easy to upsell to. As these kinds of activities are far more cost-effective than continuously trying to generate new leads, your marketing team will ensure that your business is growing sustainably.

Why your salespeople are essential hires

Ultimately, sales are what keeps your businesses ticking. Getting your products off the shelves means employees and bills get paid, and production can continue. Without sales, there’s no revenue. It’s as simple as that.

Your marketing team may be great at creating really effective sales enablement content, but if you don’t have the manpower and processes in place to follow up on the leads you’re generating, they’ll simply become lost opportunities.

Even if you’re low on leads, a skilled salesperson will have the ability to find their own prospects and drive conversions through their own initiatives. He’ll help to build up your contact lists and ensure that leads are getting an excellent experience when interacting with your business, something that will ultimately translate into more sales.

Find alignment in marketing and sales recruitment

Businesses often have too much of one or the other. Marketing may be working to generate a lot of organic traffic and engagement, but you don’t have enough sales reps to pick up the calls. Alternatively, things may be the other way around: too many sales reps and not enough marketing resources to make your sales funnel as effective as possible. This could result in your sales team wasting a lot of time reaching out to cold leads.

Sales and marketing need to exist symbiotically. Sales shares their experience and knowledge with marketing so that they can do more through behavioural research to create the kind of content that will help buyers through the first few layers of the sales funnel, kicking off those initial conversations and getting perfect-fit buyer personas lined up for your sales team to talk to.

So, who do I hire to grow my business?


It really isn’t a case of either-or. You need sales to ensure your business gets vital income. But you also need marketing to help you get found online. Marketing will help to prepare your prospects, qualify and warm up your leads. Both teams work together to save you time and money.

An aligned inbound sales and marketing strategy will ensure your business continues to grow and attract the right customers.

The good news is, you don’t necessarily need an in-house marketing team to continue growing. You can partner with a specialist like us who can bring all the essential tools and expertise to the table.

If your business is scaling, speak to us to get specialist advice and find out how our services can align with your sales initiatives to ensure that your company keeps growing, without the pains!